A Promise Kept

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
232 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2023
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Author Biography

I always knew that my parents experienced tragedies and adventures in their lives. It wasn't until my Mom died and Dad was 96 years old that I finally interviewed him. This book is their story of escape from the Nazi death machine in 1941 and their 13-year trek to America.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

A Promise Kept is the incredible journey of Otto and Lenka Friedmann. It is August of 1941 and the beginning of Hitler’s war on the Jews. We follow Otto and Lenka from the time they leave their home in Zagreb, Croatia until their arrival in America over 15 years later. The Friedmanns have to endure much suffering. They first begin by walking long hours and days traveling over challenging mountain trails before reaching their destination. They must travel by train and live in small cramped rooms. Life is hard and finally, they are given permission to board a ship across the ocean and find a new home in America. Otto and Lenka have no idea what to expect once they arrive but they are ready to do whatever it takes to keep the family together, safe, and free.

The details and the accompanying pictures make this book so real that the reader is easily pulled into the story. I would be ruining it if I gave you the details. The story was written as fiction but the facts are very real. Victor Friedmann is Otto’s son. When Otto was 96 years old, he recorded all that had happened in his life and Victor did a beautiful job of converting it into a fictional book using his father’s details and adding his imagination where necessary. I found A Promise Kept to be a really good book. Historical facts, family love and devotion and so much more made it hard to put the book down until I reached the end. If you are a history buff, a romance fan or just looking for a good book, A Promise Kept is a must-read.

Martina Baresic

"In this book, author Victor Friedmann states that the book is based on the interview with his 96 year old father who survived the horrors of Second World War and managed to escape out of ISC [Croatia]. On this basis author introduces the reader with the destiny of his family. His propensity for remembrance is evident from the start, as he chronicles the lives of members of his family, as well as the routes taken (almost entirely on foot) to escape the country, meals they ate and people they met, among other things." Martina Barešić, Curator at Jasenovac Memorial Site

Barry Lituchy

"The complexity of the wartime fascist occupation of Yugoslavia is captured in the way in which the Friedmann family, like many other Ashkenazi Jews in Croatia, escaped to relative sanctuary in the Italian fascist occupied zone of Yugoslavia in Split. The contrast between the extreme Croatian brutality and the relative mercy of the Italians is well captured here, and without omitting the criminality and persecutions of the Italian fascists as well. Moreover, Friedmann's book also captures the tragedy of so many Jews who escaped to the Italian zone only to be murdered later after the Italian capitulation and German recapture of the zone in 1943." Barry Lituchy, Jasenovac Research Institute.